College of Science and Health > About > News & Events > DePaul CSH alum Joelle Mbatchou, Ph.D.

From Basic Science to Advanced Science - DePaul CSH alum Joelle Mbatchou, Ph.D., is making an impact

Joelle Mbatchou
Photo courtesy of Regeneron Genetics Center
Empowered by genuine inquisitiveness and fortified with the sound research methods gained in a College of Science and Health's Biological Science Department research laboratory, Joelle Mbatchou was off to a great start. Working closely with evolutionary biology professor Windsor Aquirre, PhD, Joelle developed AFLP markers to study genetic differentiation of Ecuadorian fishes. Afterwards, her spark ignited for nine additional years of research experience growth in developing cutting-edge methods to help improve understanding of genetic variation and its relationship to human health and disease.

Today DePaul Alum Joelle Mbatchou, Ph.D., is Manager of Statistical Genetics at Regeneron Genetics Center and recently named to Fierce Health/Fierce Med Tech's Rising stars in health tech list. This listing among 17 of the top researchers in the field of health tech is a great honor.

The explosion of terabytes of data generated by hospitals can quickly rack up huge computing costs and major time investments. This is where Joelle Mbatchou used some of the problem solving skills gained from her DePaul research lab experiences to puzzle through to a solution. At Regeneron's statistical genetics department, Joelle launched a research project with the aim of cutting down the costs and time it takes traditional data analysis methods to comb through massive databases of disease phenotypes and genomic sequences to match up specific genetic variants to diseases. The result was development of a platform that she said, "could lead to a hundred-fold increase in speed, as well as a reduction as far as the amount of memory that you would need in a traditional computer to run the analysis."

Not only does this work overhaul many existing analytical methods, Mbatchou's team at the Regeneron Genetics Center in true Vincentian manner also opted to make the platform both completely open-source and freely available to essentially any researcher who wants to try it.

At DePaul's College of Science and Health (CSH), you will find a place where science meets humanity, and where advanced knowledge aims to advance society.